Date of Award

Spring 5-2023

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biological, Environmental, and Earth Sciences

Committee Chair

George Raber

Committee Chair School

Biological, Environmental, and Earth Sciences

Committee Member 2

Gregory Carter

Committee Member 2 School

Coastal Resilience

Committee Member 3

Mustafa Kemal Cambazoglu

Committee Member 3 School

Ocean Science and Engineering


The topobathymetric characteristics of a region are regularly altered by natural and anthropogenic causes. This directly impacts the resulting storm surge during a hurricane. The primary goal of this research was to gain a better understanding of the impact that topography and bathymetry have on storm surge models, particularly the Advanced Circulation (ADCIRC) Model. Hurricane Zeta (2020) and Hurricane Ida (2021) were chosen as case studies; therefore, the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) was chosen as the study site. This research was completed by comparing ADCIRC storm surge results which were based on older, lower-resolution data with results derived from more recent, higherresolution data. Data from General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO), Mississippi Automated Resource Information System (MARIS), and Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM, NASA) were applied to a publicly available ADCIRC mesh designed to study storm surge in the GOM. Initially, data from the 30 arc-second 2014 GEBCO grid was interpolated to the ADCIRC mesh and used to run surge simulations for Hurricanes Zeta and Ida. MARIS and SRTM data were then combined with data from the 15 arc-second 2020 and 2021 GEBCO grids for Hurricanes Zeta and Ida, respectively. These newer, higher-resolution data then replace the 2014 grid and simulations were repeated. The resulting storm surge computations for each scenario are compared to one another and to observed data, proving that topobathymetric input does impact model results.